Defend Vitamin Freedom Now!

Interview with Dr. Matthias Rath and Dr. Aleksandra Niedzwiecki

A World of Health or Disease
– You Decide!

Why Your support for Vitamin Freedom today
Will determine the health of your family tomorrow

Dr. Rath, Dr. Niedzwiecki, why did you launch the campaign for vitamin freedom at this time?

Dr. Rath: The right of the people of America to free access to vitamins and other natural therapies is being challenged in an unprecedented way today by pharmaceutical interests. These interests see the recent advances in natural health research as a threat to their multi-billion dollar global business with patented drugs.
In this situation, they attack one of the most important health protection laws in the history of the United States, the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA). This 1994 legislation, protects the dissemination of science-based natural health information, and formed the basis for an unprecedented advance of natural health research that opened the door for the control of today’s most common diseases by natural means.
With the threat of entire diseases being significantly reduced or largely eliminated, the interests behind the pharmaceutical business decided to attack DSHEA for obvious reasons: to further the existence of their investment business through the continuation and expansion of diseases is a prerequisite to global markets for their patented drugs.
We have to recognize that the growing number of attacks on vitamins and natural health approaches by medicine drug lobbyists and the media is not a sign of strength but an expression of desperation and an attempt to pass protectionist legislation for the multi-billion dollar “business with disease.”
Moreover, tens of millions of vitamin consumers – the natural health community at large – have to realize that the fundamental right to natural health is not given to us voluntarily; it is a basic human right that must be actively defended if we want to use the benefits of natural health for ourselves and build an effective, safe and affordable health care for nation.
Our campaign urges the American people to take action and defend their rights and natural health for themselves and for future generations.

Why did you, as scientists, take it upon yourselves to launch this campaign?

Dr. Niedzwiecki: The historic battle between the future of health and the interests behind the “business with disease” is not about opinions or rhetoric.  It is about scientific proof and about the decisive question: who has better solutions for our health? In recent years hundreds of research and clinical studies have documented the benefits of natural therapies in the fight against cardiovascular disease, cancer and even immune deficiency diseases. This knowledge must be brought to clinics and doctors’ offices around the country without being discredited, obstructed or censored by special interest groups representing the status quo.
It is critical that people understand that the battle between science-based natural health and the pharmaceutical investment business with disease will ultimately be determined by one factor only: science.
Take cancer, for example. This disease has been a death verdict for centuries. The promotion of patented chemotherapy drugs over the last fifty years has not changed this “verdict” for millions of cancer patients. The breakthrough scientific discoveries that ended this era came from the field of natural health. Our research results that cancer growth and spread can be halted by vitamin C, polyphenols and other micronutrients were followed by many others. Today hundreds of research and clinical studies have confirmed that the natural control of cancer is possible.
The same is true for the natural health breakthroughs we were able to contribute to the control of cardiovascular disease and other common health problems.
As the scientists who led these breakthroughs we felt it incumbent upon us to launch this campaign to defend the future of our health.

Why was the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act so important for natural health research?

Dr. Rath: The Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act was signed into law in August 1994. The centerpiece of this legislation is the encouragement for natural health research and protection for the dissemination of science-based natural health information from attacks by the pharmaceutical lobby and its agencies.
 The DSHEA legislation ended almost a century of censorship, intimidation, prosecution and other strategies by which the pharmaceutical investment business and its lobbyists successfully tried to marginalize natural health research in order to build a global monopoly for their patented drugs.
Almost a century after the discovery of the first vitamins and decades after their health benefits were recognized by several Nobel Prizes, the DSHEA legislation ended the organized “witch hunt” against natural health by the pharmaceutical lobby and explicitly protected the dissemination of life-saving natural health information.
A former Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner called the DSHEA legislation the worst defeat in the history of the pharmaceutical industry. But this is only the perspective of the drug industry. For millions of people in America, in fact for all of mankind, DSHEA was a major step in terminating the strangulating dependency on the pharmaceutical “business with disease”.

What were the events leading up to this important legislation?

Dr. Rath: In 1992 - in a surprise move - representatives of the US FDA went in front of the American public with the bizarre warning of allegedly harmful side effects of vitamins and other natural substances. The target of this scare tactic and the goal of the FDA were obvious: create public irritation and a possible outcry that could then be used to bring about legislation making vitamins prescription drugs - thereby bringing them under the control of the pharmaceutical business.
Why the FDA? Wasn’t this the federal agency acting on behalf of the American people to protect it from harm? Nothing could be further from the truth. As research journalist Thomas Moore documented in his book “Deadly Medicine” the majority of FDA agents were on the pharmaceutical industry payroll. Behind the back of the American people the drug industry had created its own executive branch – outside any control of the US government or the American people.
It is necessary to also briefly analyze the main arguments by which the drug lobbyists and the FDA launched this staunch attack on vitamin freedom in 1992. Two principle pretexts were used:
The first one being consumer protection. This alleged argument was used in the public debate to justify the demand to make vitamins prescription drugs as an essential measure to protect the public from harm.  This FDA fairytale burst when the statistical facts revealed that in the previous decade no one had died from taking vitamins, but more than 100,000 people had been dying every year from taking harmful pharmaceutical prescription drugs.
The second PR argument by the FDA was the alleged need for “international harmonization.” The innocent bystander asked: What Is there to be harmonized with a natural substance like vitamin C that in most animals is being produced in dosages of several grams each day? What the bystander did not know: Even more harmful than its influence on the US government was the influence of the drug industry on European politics. And these governments were putting additional pressure on the US.
Most notorious was the government of Germany, the world’s leading drug exporter at that time.  Ever since the times when BAYER, BASF and Hoechst – combined in the infamous “IG Farben” chemical/drug cartel – had brought Hitler to power, the German government has operated as political executors of the global pharmaceutical interests.

What triggered this sudden attack on vitamins by the FDA and the pharmaceutical lobby in 1992?

Dr. Rath: The attack on vitamins and natural health at that time was no coincidence. The 1992-1993 efforts by the FDA to try convince the American public that vitamins should become prescription drugs as a matter of public safety were the reaction to a scientific breakthrough that threatened the pharmaceutical business in an unprecedented way.
Between 1990 and 1992 I was privileged to contribute to a new scientific understanding about the true causes of cardiovascular disease. Arteriosclerosis, the hardening of the arteries – and the underlying cause for heart attacks and strokes – was comparable to an early form of scurvy. In both conditions, vitamin deficiency leads to a weakening of the blood vessel walls and to the development of diseases.
In the case of the sailor’s disease scurvy, the body’s complete depletion of vitamin C is results in death within a few months. In the case of cardiovascular disease, the chronic deficiency of vitamins over decades allows the body to develop compensatory mechanisms. Cholesterol, clotting factors and other repair molecules enter the impaired vascular wall in a desperate attempt to repair it. This repair continues over decades and eventually forms dangerous arteriosclerotic deposits.
This compelling new understanding about the true nature of cardiovascular disease threatened the drug industry which artificially maintains the concept that cholesterol is the primary cause of cardiovascular disease. This fallacy had become the basis for the multibillion-dollar global market with statins and other cholesterol–lowering drugs.
Thus, the discovery, that cardiovascular disease was not the result of high cholesterol, but of an impaired blood vessel wall weakened by long-term vitamin deficiency, threatened the collapse of the single largest market of the pharmaceutical industry: cardiovascular drugs.
Between 1990 and 1992 I co-authored two landmark scientific publications, detailing this breakthrough together with twice Noble Laureate Dr. Linus Pauling, one of the worlds leading advocates for natural, non-patentable approaches to health.
Moreover, in early April 1992 Dr. Pauling and I issued a “Call for an International Scientific Effort to Eradicate Cardiovascular Disease.” On July 2, 1994, we undertook the unprecedented step to call a press conference in the San Francisco Mark Hopkins Hotel to draw worldwide public attention on the breathtaking perspective of a world where cardiovascular disease would largely be unknown.
In October of the same year, Dr. Pauling asked me to replace him as a keynote speaker at the annual convention of the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN) in Rancho Cordoba near San Diego.
This conference could be described as a first culmination point of the emerging conflict that ultimately led to DSHEA. In my keynote lecture, I presented the vision for the natural control of cardiovascular disease to an audience composed of representatives of the leading international companies in the field of vitamins and natural health, including Roche, BASF, Henkel, Eastman and others. The limited number of reprints of the scientific publications “Solution to the Puzzle of Cardiovascular Disease” and “Unified Theory of Human Cardiovascular Disease,” which had just been published at that time, were immediately gone. I recall that the interest in this scientific advance by this audience was such that I ran out of business cards within a few minutes.
In sharp contrast, on the day after the conference a representative of the FDA was trying to defend the indefensible: Elisabeth Yetley left no doubt that the FDA is determined to make vitamins prescription drugs in order to – according to their deceptive PR slogan – protect the American public.

What led to the DSHEA victory?

Dr. Rath: The aggressiveness by which the FDA pushed their agenda and the arrogance by which they tried to deceive the American people about their true motives, was unprecedented.  But the people across America did not buy the argument that the very same vitamins they have been taking with great success for decades suddenly had to be made prescription drugs because of allegedly dangerous side effects.
In this situation the natural health community took the lead to expose the underlying agenda of the FDA as lobbyists of drug companies and their attempts to protect global pharmaceutical markets. Among the many people and organizations that organized the resistance against these heinous plans some deserve particular credit. Joe Bassett, a health food store owner and then President of the “National Nutritional Food Association” (NNFA), and the nonprofit organization “Citizens for Health” are among them.
Of strategic significance, however, was the nationwide participation of thousands of health food stores – large and small – who were determined to expose the deceptive scheme of the FDA and other drug lobbyist to their customers. The outrage of the American people reached a dimension that would later be described by “Newsweek” as the largest protest movement since the Vietnam War.
Moreover, as this protest reached its ground swell, some politicians joined this movement and started to prepare legislation that would reflect the will of the people for continued and unrestricted access to natural health. In the House it was Bill Richardson and in the Senate it was Orrin Hatch who would later become known as the co-sponsors of the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994.
By early 1993 I had summarized my discoveries about the scurvy-heart disease connection in my first book “Eradicating Heart Disease,” which was later titled “Why Animals Don’t Get Heart Attacks – But People Do”.  This book became one of the most important scientific tools in this historic battle for vitamin freedom and in the fight for DSHEA.
Thus, the very same scientific discovery of the scurvy-heart disease connection that had triggered the desperate attacks on vitamins by the pharmaceutical lobby and the FDA became a strategic weapon in defending vitamin freedom.
The message for today is obvious: then and now, the attacks by the pharmaceutical industry and their lobbyists in medicine and the media are not arbitrary events.  They are caused by an explosion of scientific knowledge in the field of natural, non-patentable health that threatens the multibillion dollar pharmaceutical interests depending on patented drugs.
Thus, science is at the very center of this historic battle between comprehensive natural health and the “drug business with disease”.
It is this strategic fact that compelled us as scientists today to raise our voice again. All those who did not yet participate in the 1992-1994 battle for vitamin freedom must realize the strategic role science is playing in achieving ultimate victory in this ongoing battle to liberate human health.
For more details I refer you to the respective chapter in my book “Why Animals Don’t Get Heart Attacks, But People Do.”

What were the consequences of DSHEA for natural health research?

Dr. Niedzwiecki: Let’s first have a look at what DSHEA defined. It secured the unrestricted access of the American people to vitamins.  DSHEA defined nutritional supplements unequivocally as “foods” and thereby protected them from being artificially categorized as “drugs” and regulated by the FDA in an effort to take over control of this market by the drug industry.
DSHEA specifically allowed what became known as “third party labeling,” i.e., the use of scientific research results about the health benefits of micronutrients and other natural health approaches by independent companies and, thereby, by the natural health community at large.
Thus, DSHEA ended a century of intimidation, censorship and even criminalization of natural health research on behalf of the drug industry.  This deliberate strategy had – for decades –discouraged researchers and natural health companies from committing financial and human resources to this important field of research.
This censorship strategy was no coincidence, but a strategic tool for the pharmaceutical investment business to cement its global health monopoly
As a consequence, DSHEA became the legal turning point that ended the “Dark Ages” of medicine during which health care in the US and beyond was held hostage by the pharmaceutical investment business. DSHEA ushered in a “New Age” of health and led to an explosion of research and clinical studies confirming the health benefits of vitamins and other natural health approaches.
It is no surprise, therefore, that in the 15 years that followed the DSHEA legislation major breakthroughs were being made in the natural control of cancer, cardiovascular diseases, immune deficiencies and other major health conditions. For example, cancer – a disease that has essentially remained a death verdict since the dawn of time – has become a health condition that can be largely controlled by micronutrients.
I am mentioning cancer specifically, because of the psychological implications connected with this disease. The “death verdict” connected with this disease has been used by the pharmaceutical investment business as a mechanism of controlling society far beyond the disease itself. As long as the threat of cancer as a death verdict remained engraved in the minds of millions of people, they were willing to voluntarily surrender to the grip of the pharmaceutical investment business and its toxic chemotherapy.
Now that cancer has lost the stigma of a death verdict, the control of the pharmaceutical interests on society is gone forever. It is only with this background that we come to understand the desperate and aggressive attacks on natural health in general – launched by pharmaceutical lobbyists in medicine and the media.